Ogle has produced seven concept vehicles that could retrace the world’s longest route of human migration from Nairobi, Kenya to Manaus, Brazil.
Map and Mori Inc. were commissioned by Honda to develop the series of designs which would ultimately present the brand’s future vision for autonomous driving technology in a context which had not previously been explored. The vehicles needed to travel across a variety of terrains; from valleys to mountains, road to sea and snow to desert. They would be used as part of an advertising video developed by Map and Mori Inc. Map is a strategy-led industrial design consultancy, working with some of the most innovative and best-loved companies in the world including global brands, public institutions, advertising agencies as well as ambitious startups.
Each model required precise production and finishing to correctly represent the high quality and ingenuity of a Honda vehicle. The CAD models were designed to be full size before being scaled down to 1:24. Ogle focused on maintaining the strength of each part after it has been scaled down and working closely with Map to develop practical solutions. The subsequent manipulation of the CAD data created a high volume of parts that needed to be tracked throughout each stage of production.
The accuracy demanded by the machines at Ogle was significant. To achieve the required finishes and component parts of the models, there was no room for error. A considerable amount of time was spent both in design and on the bench to create clearances for paint so that everything could be assembled perfectly after the parts had been painted.
Ogle’s paint team were tasked with delivering finishes that had never been created before, and providing the client, Map, with samples that could be signed-off before the models were painted.
SLA was the only viable process to deliver precise accuracy of the parts. This process also delivers a superior surface finish, which was vital to this project in reducing excessive handling of the vehicles. The levels of accuracy Ogle achieve can meet +0.1mm per 100mm. So that the project met lead times, Ogle used all four of their SLA machines; the iPro for larger parts, the two Vipers and 3500 for the smaller more intricate details.
After the models were scaled down to 1:24, some of the details that would have been produced using SLA were now impossible. To create some of the very thin rope details, the model makers at Ogle hand-formed stainless steel and copper wire to give more of a robust and realistic effect.
Once all the parts had been produced, the model makers began the rigorous task of preparing the individual components for the paint department. This process included applying a guide coat to each of the models to ensure that all the items were rubbed down correctly, and then the model was sandblasted to even all the surfaces and soften any remaining layers from the SLA process. Some of the windows in each vehicle would need to be filmed through. This involved using SLAs and also Perspex on the larger parts. At each stage, the sections were assembled and checked before being sent to the paint team.
Innovative solutions were sought when the component parts were painted. The interior net finishes on items such as the hammock were achieved by sourcing multiple net fabrics and lacquering the SLA parts, so that they were clear, before applying the paint over the pattern of the fabric. From the snow effect on the Tundra’s tyres to the decking on the Island Hopper, each finish had to be executed to perfection, resulting in a seamless look when being filmed.
In the final assembly, all parts were tested to allow for the required movement within each vehicle. The Mountain Climber and Jungle Jumper went through further inspection because large elements were functional and needed to move, so the overall balance and strength of the model had to be tested and maintained.
Ogle are extremely proud to have been selected to produce such intricate and unique models and was keen to obtain feedback. Scott Barwick, Design Associate at Map and Mori Inc., said: “We initially selected Ogle due to their competitive price and the fact that they could meet our strict lead times. We had thought about outsourcing the project to China, but the great thing about Ogle is we could visit them, have a conversation directly with the team and resolve issues very quickly.
“We really enjoyed working with the team at Ogle, their professionalism, the quality and overall experience was superb. One of the great things about Ogle is their technology, and the precision of their machines, which can be seen clearly in the seven models.”
“This has been our first experience of working with the team at Ogle and we can’t recommend them highly enough. I am sure we will work together on future projects.”